Public Schools versus Private Schools

By STEVEN CHERNUTAN

Most people understand the value of an education. However, some people might say that private schools offer more value for a child’s future than public schools. The question is, why do some people think this? Most U.S. citizens are products of the public school system, so why would they favor the private school setting instead?

The public school system is extremely convenient for most people and that is the main reason most people prefer it to private schools. It is free education, so why do some people dislike it so much? It could be a testament to age-old phrase, “You get what you pay for.” Since you are not paying anything for it, the education cannot really be that great. Or can it?

Back in 1821, in Boston, Mass., when the first public high school was created, they had a goal to provide a sufficient and affordable educational system for the citizens of Boston. That is not something that private schools offer. For your children to get an education before the advent of public schools, you needed to be employed with a good job. However, just because the education is cheap in terms of the cost does not mean that the teaching is cheap as well.

In One Corner, the Public School System

“I dislike the amount of assessments we have to give our children,” said second grade teacher at Due West Elementary, Karyn Krzemien. “The assessments take much of the fun out of learning.”

Due West Elementary is located at 3900 Due West Road Northwest, Marietta, Ga.

It is great to see a teacher that cares about making the experience enjoyable for the students, and not just themselves. When Krzemien mentioned that the assessments take the fun out of learning, it is easy to see that she really wants the students to have fun while learning. When most kids are in public schools, they tend to complain about how boring it is and how many tests and assessments they are required to take.

In the Other Corner, the Private School System

There are plenty of advantages in the private school system, but there are also a few key disadvantages as well. The disadvantage that is most difficult for people to overcome is the cost. Private schools offer a more intimate setting for teaching, but since the setting is supposedly better for learning, the cost is higher too. The tuition information for Brandon Hall School says tuition starts at $31,000 per year.

Abigail Warner sitting in front of her small class of seven students. Photo by Allison Feldman.
Abigail Warner sitting in front of her small
class of seven students. Photo by Allison Feldman.

“For the teaching experience, I think private schools are better,” said math teacher at Brandon Hall School, Abigail Warner. “I have 23 students for the whole day instead of in one class. This greatly decreases the amount of grading and increases the amount of time I can spend with each student.”

Brandon Hall School is situated at 701 Brandon Hall Drive, Atlanta, Ga.

Another great thing about private schools is that they look for what experience you have, instead of what degree you have. For example, Warner worked as a math tutor (From Tutor to Teacher) before becoming a teacher. Warner said, “I actually started teaching after running my own tutoring business for four years.”

From Tutor to Teacher

Tutoring and teaching are quite similar to one another, especially teaching in a private school setting. Since, she is in a private school setting, Warner does not have a class with more than eight students at a time. Most tutoring sessions are no bigger than that, so when Warner made the transition from tutor to teacher, the transition came easy.

“I was actually searching through job sites on behalf of my husband when I ran across a listing for a private school teaching job,” said Warner. “Apparently, my tutoring experience was perfect for a school with an average class size of eight students.”

She was the perfect fit for the private school setting, because she could apply her tutoring experience to more than

Abigail Warner teaching her mathematics class. Photo by Allison Feldman.
Abigail Warner teaching her mathematics class. Photo by Allison Feldman.

one student at a time. Instead of improving the learning ability of one child, she has an opportunity to make a difference in multiple children’s lives. Warner still runs a small tutoring business on the side, but dedicates most of her time to teaching now that she works at Brandon Hall School as a mathematics teacher.

This battle is something that cannot have a definitive winner or loser. In the end, the children have to want to learn, and be given the opportunity to do so. If the schools can get children excited about learning, as much as these teachers discussed in the article are excited about teaching, our future generations are going to be very successful. Once a child has the desire to want to learn more, that is the moment the educational setting has won.

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